Thoughts on the Opening and Closing of the Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer begins, “Our Father, who art in Heaven:  Thy name be hallowed, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” and ends, “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.”

How do Thy name/hallowed, Thy kingdom/come, and Thy will/be done fit together?  Next, how do kingdom, power, and glory fit together?  Finally, is there a correspondence between the two threesomes?

Let’s take that last question first.  I think there is a visible connection between hallowed-name and glory, between kingdom-come and kingdom, and between will-be-done and power.  I’ve already adverted to that in my post here.  The prayer’s opening includes the threesome in an immediate request; in the closing, it is a declaration of ultimate permanence.

But what about the “internal” relationship within each threesome?  Well, there is some logic to kingdom preceding power — that is, there should be legitimacy to force prior to its exercise — and we see that in both threesomes.  Having hallowed first and glory last is in keeping with the prayer’s chiastic structure (for more on that, see the embedded link in the preceding paragraph), and makes poetic sense:  God’s majesty first awes us and ultimately lasts forever.

Finally, if you had to pick God’s three most fundamental characteristics, you could do worse than listing His omnipotence (will and power), legitimate authority over us (kingdom), and majesty (holiness and glory).